English Heritage

Amesbury, Wiltshire

Architect: Denton Corker Marshall
Structural Engineer: SKM
Principal Contractor: Vinci

Stonehenge Visitors Centre

Situated on a World Heritage Site on Salisbury Plain the Stonehenge Visitors Centre required a very sensitive approach by the projects architects Glenn Howells. The building has been designed to be deliberately modest to minimise the visual impact on the landscape however the completed structure still manages to be aesthetically pleasing with its gently undulating roof and forest of inclined steel columns. The building which is 78m long and 36m wide presented a number of challenges to the site team. To enable work on the pods which form the building accommodation while the roof was being installed a full bird-cage scaffold was installed by main contractor Vinci. This allowed SH Structures to progressively build the roof structure while work on the pods was being carried out below. The roof is formed from hollow sections which were made into pre-assembled in ladder frames which could be supported off strategically positioned adjustable brackets within the birdcage while the other interfacing members were welded into place. The complete roof was lowered into place using the adjustable brackets allowing it to sit on the columns below which could then be welded into place. To maintain the thin profile of the canopies edge the roof drains into the centre with some of the outlets being installed within the columns. The completed building has gone on to win an RIBA Regional Award and a Civic Trust Award.